STUDENT Ella Burke shed almost half her 30ins waist-length long hair to raise money for a cancer charity and donated the plaits to make wigs for children.

Ella and friends from Bacup and Rawtenstall Grammar School - Helaina Proops and Scarlet Ruane - selected Burnley-based CARES - Cancer Awareness Rapid Early Support - to raise awareness of in a school charity challenge.

Ella, 14, from Rawtenstall, said: “I have never had my hair cut properly, only trimmed. I didn’t think what I had agreed to do was that much, but everyone has said it is a lot.”

Stylist at Nigel Christopher Salon in Hargreaves Street, Burnley, Natalie Campione straightened Ella’s hair, separated and plaited it before finally cutting off the 14in tresses.

Ella said: “It feels so much lighter, I never realised my hair was that heavy.”

To sponsor Ella and her friends log on to